Just what the hell is it with creepy men who think they have the right to touch a woman’s body?

More precisely my body.

I was out running this morning, and, before any of you DARES to suggest it was MY fault because of tight clothing  – not that you would, I know, I know. Forgive me, I’m still angry.

So, yes, let me tell you how I was dressed.  Never forgetting I am a senior citizen.

Track suit trousers.

Long T shirt that covered my bottom.

Wind-cheater that covered my bottom.

It was about 7.30 am, near Gol Market, and I was running down an empty street, having just ignored the creepy man who tried talking to me, “Hello madam, where you go? You need help? You walking? Exercise, very good”.  Idiot.

I had slowed down for a couple of seconds to a brisk walk, as I do from time to time, still in a empty street. Fairly wide pavement. And suddenly there’s a hand on my bottom.

Turn round to find this low life greasy haired creep.

IMG_5125For a split second, I couldn’t believe it.  If the street had been packed, I might even have thought it was an accident. But in an empty street.  No way.

He looked shocked as I started yelling at him in Hindi, then he put the phone to his ear and started saying “Hello Raju, Raju” –  moron, at least pretend to dial numbers before you start “speaking” on your mobile.

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As I continued yelling, he had the nerve to gesture at the phone and say (in Hindi) “Madam, I am on the phone.”

So I slapped him on his greasy head.

Last time I was aggressed in the street by school boys, someone took me to task on Twitter for slapping a schoolboy.

No such compunction this time, let me tell you.

He stopped talking to “Raju” and started on his “Sorry sorry sorry madam” mantra.

Same reply I gave the creeps who told me to f*** off on my last run-in with Delhi men.  If you didn’t do anything, why are you saying sorry?

He tried the Raju trick again, repeating “Hello Raju” as I followed him, taking photos and shouting.

He then tried another approach.  Putting his hands together in a sort of mamaste gesture, he explained why he had touched me.

Just listen:

“Madam sorry.  Kuch nahi tha.  Me married hu.  Sorry.”

He got a slap for that, let me tell you (non Hindi speakers, you got it, right?  “I am married”, was his excuse/justification.)

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And what was happening while I was shouting and slapping a greasy-haired creep?

Oh, let me assure you, nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

A group of men standing at a bus stop about 1oo metres ahead, all watched slackjawed.  And didn’t move a muscle.

The 2 men reading the paper at the cigarette kiosk, lowered their papers and watched.  And didn’t move a muscle.

The 3 school boys waiting by the side of the road ahead…

The workers in the yard he dodged into, to try and escape…

Nothing nothing nothing.

Woman screaming, hitting bloke.  Nah, don’t let’s get involved.  Let’s just stand and gawp.

What does it take to get any degree of civic concern and intervention in this city?

As I left the yard –  creep still “talking” to Raju, though he never got beyond “Hello” (God, what a moron) – one of the school boys, probably about 16 or 17 –  ran up to me and said, again in Hindi, “Madam what happened.  Why were you shouting and hitting that man?”

He got an earful too.

“If you saw a woman hitting a man and shouting, why didn’t you come and help?”

If perhaps one young man reflects on what he didn’t do this morning – didn’t intervene, didn’t help, just stood and gawped –  well, I will feel a little bit vindicated for the touch of that man’s hand on my buttocks and the feel of his greasy hair oil on my hand for the next hour.

Ugh, that feeling.

 

I am trying to run with less “stuff” in my hands these days – no water bottle, no car keys – but I am seriously thinking of starting to running with a pepper spray.

85 Comments

  1. Shalini

    A juvenile, young college and school going boys, married men, old f*#k@#g denture Wearing men…all are f@#k+-g b@#s$@#+s. I was given warning by my sister not to shout at them or run after them or they will do something horrendous. But my blood use to boil. You can’t travel by local trnsport , on foot or your own vehicle..in my case it being a two wheeler. Everyone around would only stare and give u pathetic looks which will for days make you feel guilty f being a girl. Uff I so wish at times like these that I was not born as a girl.

  2. Shalini

    I wish we could clean India for such morons. Mr Modi that should be the adgenda for swach bharat! Am 37 year now and have been going thru this shit since I was just 5. people talk of our rich culture…my foot! This is our culture where men keep harrasing us and still blame on us..what will u call ven they molest a 5 year old. And the 5 year was in a salwar suit god dammit. Blood boils…Christine. But nothing absolutely nothing can he done of these morons.

    1. christine

      Shalini, a young woman sent me a Twitter message today that when she got groped and tried to report it to the cops, it was her own family that tried to stop her. There is a strange mindset that I cannot get my head around.

  3. Sanjeev

    I would think a “WTF are you doing MFer? Followed by a quick right cross,left hook to the face and a kick to the nether regions would eliminate his future behavioral abnormality…but that’s just my opinion…

  4. Shalini

    Disgusting…from 5 year old to 60 they just don’t spare anyone…These b*!#$@*s are all around us and u r right only God can save us. They are shameless creatures..nothing would work on them. I have slapped, yelled, abused, pushed, thrown stones at so many of them but all they do is fold hands and say ‘sorry’. Sorry??? Bloody morons! And the public- men, women everyone would be just watching quietly. I wish I was there to kick on his a##

  5. I am not surprised. And people didn’t come to help. Not shocking either. Why? Cause people are so much engrossed in their own daily mess that no one wants more from any other plate. Yes that makes us insensitive. But that’s the reality.
    Next time make sure you kick such assholes hard. Self help is the only help we can rely on. We have to learn to fight against them. Pepper spray, kickboxing, a knife .. whatever! I am glad you put up a strong foot.

    1. christine

      Thanks Nancy, but one sort of hopes that after all the publicity about sexual attacks here in Delhi…but no. Gawping apathy is all you get. And I am ordering myself a pepper spray.

  6. Christine – horrible. And as Simran’s story shows, these bastards are also cowards. He’s married? Pity help his wife. I do think, though, that you should have some defence with you. As John says, it’s a dangerous city. And be selective about the circumstances when you start slapping men!

  7. ughhhh. so awful. But I agree with the comment above – it’s good that these people can at least be publically slapped and shamed. When I came back to New Haven after being in Delhi, I realized that the size and build of men here makes them way more physically dangerous… can’t grab them by the collar and scream at them in public, like I did once in Delhi…

  8. Anu

    Well done Christine! The sad, sad truth is that in many places in Delhi, self-help is the best help. Reminds me of the time when travelling by a bus as a teenager and was repeatedly ‘accidentally’ groped by a man on a bus. The good citizens around me did nothing.. till such time as I whipped around, kicked the creep hard and followed it up with a verbal lashing. The citizenry was then sufficiently roused to inquire what was the matter, despite the fact that the harassment was occurring in full public view. And yes, I carry pepper spray everywhere now.

  9. PS- the one thing I am glad about is that in India you can get away with slapping these swines. In London o knew I would be done for ABH or GBH or some such and had to keep my hands to myself, even though this b*#@&rd had not accorded me the same courtesy.

  10. I am so outraged, Christine. What can all of us do to shame these horrible men even more? Perhaps another march by women is necessary. What a disgusting creep! I have an American friend who, many years ago, was in a line to b uy cinema tickets at the Regal Cinema. Someone behind her grabbed her crotch, and when she turned around there he was, a small weedy man! So, being tall and strong, she gave him a couple of slaps and then picked him up and shook him, rather like a dog would shake a rat, and shouted to the crowd…..look at this man, this is what he does! All the fellow could say was “Please, please Madam, I am very sorry, I am married”!! They are diseased, these men, indulged from the womb to the tomb in all the wrong ways by their mothers…..The crowd, mostly men, needless to say, did NOTHING….

    1. christine

      It is truly worrying, Brinda, that you cannot count on your fellow-citizens to help you. It’s as though the hue & cry these last few days doesn’t mean a thing to them.

  11. I’m so sorry Christine….it’s horrible, one feels so violated. Desi men specialise in this I think. Not only have I slapped/kicked/humiliated numerous men on buses and streets in India, I once had a charming Bangladeshi man do to me in London exactly what this creep did to you. As it wasn’t a deserted area (and I was SO mad) I actually chased him and swore at him (and he ran, which was hilarious). I was seething for days.
    In Delhi it’s luck of the draw as far as people helping you are concerned. I mostly found hugely helpful men and women who would intervene and humiliate the crap out of creeps who were bothering women. But many just won’t.
    Big hug.
    Btw my Nani had her bottom groped at the age of 70. The mind boggles.

  12. Christine….you should post his pic on a daily basis and hope that the ripples eventually spread out to someone who knows him. And I am amazed that you DON’T run with a pepper spray…..or worse. You live in a dangerous city.

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